[Doc-SIG] Colons and footnotes (was RE: reST Wiki mode, was
[Doc-SIG] Suggestions for reST "modes")
Tony J Ibbs (Tibs)
Thu, 9 Aug 2001 09:21:44 +0100
Garth T Kidd wrote (after me):
> > *My* reason for suggesting using them was, however, entirely
> > orthogonal, and was simply that it is one less thing to remember,
> > if *all* hyperlink targets start with ``.. _`` and end with ``:``.
> Yep. That's pretty much it for me. Permitting or mandating colons also
> removes the requirement for footnote target identifiers to not include
> the square brackets, as I'd hopefully be able to distinguish between a
> footnote reference and a link to a footnote like so::
> This line has a footnote reference. _
> This line refers to the footnote ``_
> Hmmm. Or maybe I should just dig my heels in and insist upon removing
> the square brackets from the identifier. :)
Hmm. Excuse my thinking out loud (slowly) below.
It may be easier to consider "natural" (there's a poor word to use in a
debate!) implementation of such links in HTML.
Given the raw text::
This is a footnote _.
I had been expecting HTML *something* like:
<p>This is a footnote<a href="#footnote1"></a>.
to be generated (note I've chosen to lose the space before the
footnote - this may or may not be sensible in practice). This, of
course, implies the existence of something like::
<a name="footnote1"></a> The footnote.
at some place. *Clearly* (!) if one knew the "rule" for making up
footnote names one could refer to the footnote by that name elsewhere,
but that's implementation dependent (unless we *specify* such rules -
but it's still messy).
But why did I prepend "footnote" to the "1"? It was exactly because I
had assumed that we wanted a different namespace (heh, in the
programming sense, this time) for different types of link. What *you*
are proposing, I think, is just to drop that assumption.
So if the HTML generated was instead something like::
<p>This is a footnote<a href="#1"></a>.
then one could equally have reST text like::
And this also refers to footnote 1_.
and they would work.
So the issue is:
Do we want different sorts of hyperlink to occupy
different namespaces, or the same namespace.
Personally, I don't mind. Looks like Garth votes for no, so what does
David think? Whatever the decision, it should then be written up in the
Tony J Ibbs (Tibs) http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/
"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive
continuity of ducks." - Dorothy L. Sayers, "Gaudy Night"
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